I have become enraptured by a family of robins. I noticed their nest about a month ago, hanging on a low branch of my lilac bush. A mere few inches above the top of my head, it is ideally situated for my viewing. It also happens to be perfectly aligned with one of the windows on my porch. Ideal for taking photographs without intruding on privacy.
On Tuesday I noticed the first hatchling and became enraptured. That was it. My heart filled with love and awe for the circle of life that had decided to grace my yard.
To be privy to this brief unfolding; to watch its emergence and transformation, instills within the humble joy of bearing witness to a miracle. It is the dance of grace. It is small, yet profound reminder that life is in constant cycle.
I have named this family even though they are not mine to name. I am calling the babies Sue and Rachel, and I think perhaps no one will mind that I do. It is my way of remembering two lives that are in their own process of cycling. Two lives I was fortunate enough to share with my own for a brief time. Both lovers of birds who are now untethered from Earth. It seems fitting.
Many a moment is now spent watching. Watching the mother, Bratha, as she tends to her chicks. There are only two, where the average is 3-5 eggs per breeding cycle for the American robin. The number fits nicely into my homage.
In just a few days the eyes of the chicks have opened and their bodies have sprouted thick coats of mottled gray. They are beginning to find their voices as they call out their hunger to their mother.
She is mostly patient and obliging, but she also gives them space. Space to emerge into individuality. I find it both heartbreaking and beautiful. It reminds me of loss, but also of hope.